In the state of Arizona, laws involving the processing, sale and use of cannabis are ever changing. This is why it can be difficult to keep up with the laws as an individual or as a business. Though cannabis is legal in Arizona, many things that can go wrong when it comes to filing the paperwork and getting your dispensary business up and running. Cannabis law firms offer their expertise to help the public purchase product legally, as well as businesses within the industry stay ahead of the law.
Best Cannabis Law Firms in Arizona
Though the sale of cannabis for recreational adult use is now legal in Arizona, laws, regulations and requirements for cannabis-based business owners can be difficult to navigate. Whether you’re planning to start a cannabis business, you’re thinking about pursuing the first steps of a stock listing or you’ve been hit with a charge for operating your cannabis business without the proper licensing, the following attorneys within these firms located across the state can help.
Law Badgers is a law firm located in Phoenix. It mainly focuses on personal injury, car accidents, brain injuries, truck injuries, wrongful death, negligence, criminal, DUI and motorcycle accidents. However, several of the firm’s lawyers are considered cannabis lawyers. They’ve handled many different types of cases within the cannabis industry, including cases involving cultivators, dispensaries and extraction companies. The attorneys at Law Badgers have many years of experience fighting for small businesses, and they have spent years gaining knowledge on the cannabis industry and its laws.
Several of the team members working with Law Badgers have experience within the realm of cannabis use and sale law. Most notably, counsel Thomas Connelly has developed an expertise in Arizona’s marijuana and cannabis laws, having represented both medicinal marijuana companies in court as well as negotiated contracts between multiple industry suppliers and parties. No matter which attorney you work with, Law Badgers can assure that you rest with the peace of mind that comes with knowing your business is in the hands of some of the most well-versed cannabis attorneys in the Grand Canyon state.
The Law Office of Rick L. Frimmer
Rick Frimmer is a Harvard Law graduate who has been practicing law for over 35 years in the Sedona area. He offers a number of legal services including arbitrations and mergers and acquisitions. His services offered in the cannabis and hemp industries include tax planning and controversies, licensing, regulating, IRC 280E planning, strategy and compliance and acquisitions and divestitures.
If your primary concern for your business is tax law and compliance, Frimmer can be a strong choice thanks to his years of experience practicing and teaching tax law. Frimmer is admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as various Federal Courts of Appeal, providing him with a diverse perspective on how your business’s actions in Arizona may affect your viability outside of the state and throughout its many counties. Additionally, Frimmer has served as a professor of law at the Loyola Chicago Law School as well as the Thomas Jefferson School of Law. This teaching experience lends further credentials to Frimmer’s understanding of complex tax and compliance laws and statutes.
Yako Law is a cannabis law firm located in Scottsdale, originally founded by attorney Alden Yako. Unlike most of the attorneys and law offices on this list, Yako has only five years of experience practicing law in Arizona. However, the firm specializes in criminal, traffic ticket and DUI defense across several counties in Arizona. It focuses specifically on cannabis law and licensing, with practice areas of medical marijuana and marijuana business formation. Yako Law says its main focus is to make sure that their clients leave in a better situation than they came to them with.
Yako has extensive experience in the arena of criminal law and has focused much of his career on defending clients, assisting in reducing charges and aiming for dismissals whenever possible. If you’re facing a DUI charge or you’ve been charged with holding more cannabis than is currently allowed under individual law, Yako Law could be the right choice for your case. Yako Law has experience handling all levels of drug charges, including misdemeanors and felonies in a variety of areas. Yako’s dedication to his clients extends beyond the standard 9-to-5 hours, with 24/7 assistance when you need it.
When setting up a cannabis business, it’s important to remember that cannabis is still a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law. This means that if you don’t have the right licensing and your business is in possession of more than the legally allowed amount of cannabis for personal use, you could potentially face criminal drug charges. Manufacturing or possessing a “dangerous drug,” (in the state of Arizona, more than 2 pounds of marijuana) can leave you subject to criminal charges of up to nine years in prison for your first offense. If your business is facing a drug manufacturing charge, take it seriously and search for an attorney with experience in drug manufacture laws — like Oliverson Law.
The attorneys at Oliverson Law have over 30 years of collective experience and 12 specifically working with cannabis law. The team consists of former police officers, judges and prosecutors. The firm is made up of criminal defense attorneys and is located in Tempe. Since they are criminal defense attorneys, they are more helpful when facing a criminal charge, whether that's a DUI or a drug crime. If your business hasn’t been operating with the proper licensing and you’re now facing a drug manufacturing charge, Oliverson Law has experience that might be relevant to your case.
Allen Law, based in Mesa, represents criminal defense and personal injury clients in cities located across the state of Arizona. With almost 30 years of experience, this firm protects those charged with misdemeanor or felony crimes. It boasts of being a 420-friendly law firm, offering legal solutions and services to those charged with criminal cannabis charges.
One point that sets Allen Law apart from others in the sector is its focus on parallel proceedings. If you operate a cannabis business that eventually dissolves because of improper manufacturing or licensing, you might face a case with both civil and criminal components. Allen Law prides itself in its combination of expertise in both the cannabis and white collar areas of legal practice, and it can effortlessly provide parallel support that provides a holistic defense for your business.
What to Expect From Your Cannabis Law Firm
When you retain a cannabis law firm, they should provide a basic set of services that will make your life easier. Yes, every law firm is a little bit different, but you still need to be on the lookout for basics that will help propel your business forward.
Regular communication: Your law firm should routinely communicate legislative changes to you. At the same time, they should be easy to reach.
Instant support: When you reach out with a legal hangup, your law firm should be prepared to offer instant support.
Upfront pricing: When you sign your retainer agreement, your law firm should be upfront and honest about the costs involved with their representation of your business.
How to Buy Cannabis Legally in Arizona
The process to buy cannabis legally in Arizona is fairly straightforward now that it is recreationally available. If you’re under the age of 21, you are only allowed to legally buy medical cannabis. To do so would require you to get a medical card from a doctor and to receive a qualifying diagnosis. Once you have a medical marijuana card, the process to buy medical cannabis legally is essentially the same as buying recreational cannabis. However, if you’re over the age of 21, you can skip getting the medical card and do the following.
Find a Dispensary
Recreational marijuana dispensaries are located throughout the state. Recreational dispensaries have different licensing from medical dispensaries, so you’ll need to ensure that the dispensary you choose is specifically able to sell recreational marijuana if you don’t have a medical marijuana card. This is true regardless of whether you’re over the age of 21 or not. Once you’ve found a recreational dispensary, you can make the trip to it. Most dispensaries will have the same kind of products available, but you can check out their websites to see their prices and what they have beforehand if you want. Some dispensaries may offer delivery services for an additional fee.
Prove Your Age
You must prove that you are at least 21 years of age before you can enter a recreational cannabis dispensary — so remember to bring your proof of ID. Recreational cannabis dispensaries are able to accept driver’s licenses, a passport or a state ID as valid forms of identification. If you are not from the state of Arizona and therefore do not have an Arizona ID, you are still able to buy cannabis legally as long as you are 21 years of age or older and can prove it with a valid ID. You do not need to be a resident of Arizona to purchase cannabis in the state of Arizona — but remember that each state has its own cannabis laws, so transportation across state lines can be a felony offense. Once your ID has proven your age, you can enter the dispensary.
Consider Your Strain and Product
When you arrive at the cannabis dispensary, you’ll be greeted by a budtender, a cannabis expert who can help you choose which product will deliver the effects you’re looking for. The first choice that you’ll need to make is the type of stain you’d like. The strain determines the effects you’ll experience after ingesting the cannabis. Three major options will be offered at the dispensary when it comes to choosing a strain:
- Indica: Indica cannabis plants originated in the Middle East and have higher CBD contents. Indica is most widely known for its relaxing properties, and subjective effects most often include pain relief and a sedative effect. This strain is sometimes used as a nighttime sleep aid as well as a relaxant.
- Sativa: Sativa plants are grown in warmer parts of the world, including the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. Most users find sativa strains to be more stimulating than indica strains, providing energizing effects suitable for daytime use. Sativa plants have higher THC contents, which can prompt anxiety in some users.
- Hybrid: Hybrid strains are combinations of sativa and indica, created when strains of both plants are grafted together. Hybrid strains may be indica-dominant or sativa-dominant.
After selecting a strain, choose how you want to consume the cannabis and which product you’d like. From flower to vape pens, there are an endless number of cannabis products that you can purchase for recreational use. If you prefer not to smoke, ask your budtender to direct you to some of their recommended edible products or tinctures.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is cannabis legal in Arizona?
Cannabis is legal in Arizona for both medical and recreational use. The difference between medical and recreational legality lies mostly with the age limits. Those over the age of 18 are able to become a medical cannabis patient and purchase medicinal cannabis products as long as they are approved by a licensed physician and receive approval for purchase and use. Those under the age of 18 may also receive a prescription for medicinal cannabis as long as their legal guardian approves usage. Recreational use is only available to those adults over the age of 21 and does not require a medicinal cannabis approval.
How many cannabis plants can I have in Arizona?
In the state of Arizona, you are legally allowed to have six cannabis plants per legal adult. Any adult over the age of 21 can have and grow six plants within their home. If there are two adults over the age of 21 in the house, they can have a combined number of 12 plants total. If you have more than two adults living in your home, the maximum number of cannabis plants you can have in the home remains 12.